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Behind the Scenes: JMU Gangnam Style

Her Campus JMU is the first, and only, source to score an interview with the brains behind the JMU Gangnam Style video! If you have not yet watched the video, you are truly missing out! For those of you who have not seen the original “Gangnam Style” Korean pop video, it has become the top YouTube video, reaching 531,984,265 views to date.

JMU Gangnam Style is the genius work of four students, whom are all acquainted through Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and other JMU organizations. The masterminds include senior media arts and design major, Jake Williams; senior sports recreation major, Steve Robertson; junior media arts and design major, Riley Hanlon; and freshman computer information systems major, Daniel Stein.  Her Campus was delighted to sit down with the guys and get the scoop on the making of the video and gauge their feedback on the YouTube comments their video has been receiving. 

Many people have expressed feelings of anger because they think the video is “a waste of the university’s money” and they “can’t believe this is where their tuition money is going.” The truth is: “We didn’t spend any money on the film whatsoever. Well, we bought a bone for the Duke Dog and a lot of coffee, but that was it. We didn’t have funding from JMU at all,” Stein says. Williams added, “All of the cameras and other equipment belonged to us.” The four of them decided to add credits to the video a few days after the original video posting so that viewers would realize that the making of the video did not involve JMU officials or funding. 

The JMU Cheerleading squad, some of the Dukettes dance team, and of course, the Duke Dog donated their time to the making of the video. “It took us three days to record everything and another day to edit it… The turnaround was pretty quick,” Hanlon said.

When asked if they had any regrets about making the video, Robertson said, “The only thing I wish we had added was a scene with J. Maddy girl. If we could have gotten her in there, it would’ve made it even more awesome!”

The YouTube comments have not diminished these guys’ spirits one bit. Stein said, “It doesn’t bother me if they don’t like it. At the end of the day, they are still viewing our video, which makes it more popular.” The video was not made to taint the name of JMU or to make it seem like a “party school,” which these four made very clear; it was just a silly video that is re-created one of the most popular YouTube sensations of all time. Her Campus JMU definitely thinks they hit the ball out of the park with JMU Gangnam Style.


Melissa, who is known as "Mel" by all of her friends, is currently a junior at James Madison University where she is studying Media Arts and Design and Human Resources. She hopes to one day work as a Pubic Relations specialist for a non-profit or children-based organization. She is very involved at JMU and is always on the go! She is a member of HerCampus JMU, was an orientation leader for incoming freshmen, volunteers in the community, as well as maintains a part-time job at Pump It Up in Mt. Crawford, VA. She grew up in Virginia Beach, VA and loves to spend her spare time at the beach with her friends and family! :)
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